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The Partnership between Peugeot & Pininfarina

Peugeot and Pininfarina have been working together since 1951 when Peugeot decided to call in an independent design house to create its new 403 Saloon with the aim to create a distinctive lasting look.

It opted for Pininfarina, a design house with an established international reputation for a style that combined classicism, inventiveness and personality.

1955 Peugeot 403

The new Peugeot saloon which came out in 1955 was a bigger success than the French firm had ever dreamed of, in the end over a milion units were produced, an unimaginable figure for the period. The collaboration wass desined to last in time and it is not confined to design; it was in the Sixties that the relationship was extended to manufacturing with the first complete cars production for the French company.

They were niche cars, coupés and cabriolets. Pininfarina produced the bodies which were then sent to Peugeot where the mechanical parts were assembled. A series of numbers and successes followed 404-204-5042053061007 and probably the most beautiful: the 406 Coupé.

This partnership has acquired a new dimension with the 406 Coupé project . For the very first time Peugeot has entrusted Pininfarina with the responsability not only for the exterior and interior styling , but also for industrialisation and production in strict resect for the standards, particularly quality, that are a part of everyday life in Peugeot’s own manufacturing facilities.

1997 Peugeot 406 Coupé

Pininfarina also realized numerous models and research prototypes on Peugeot mechanic base as the 504 Break Riviera (1971), the 104 Peugette (1974), the 205 Verve (1984), the Griffe 4 (1985), the 205 Cabriolet (1986), the 306 Cabriolet (1994), the 406 Coupè and the Nautilus (1997).

At the end of the Nineties the market requires reassuring volumes, that are serious and formal rather than ephemeral, of a very high quality and with a timeless beauty, that will not decay rapidly. The decision to maintain the same wheelbase as the other 406s (2.70m) has produced an elegant, dynamic, coupé, with a sporting image but a spaciousness comparable with that of the saloon.

1997 Peugeot Nautilus

Pininfarina Studi e Ricerche started the styling phase in June 1992, with a number of renderings of cars that differed in their general set-up and the shape of their sides. The first two full sized models were produced very rapidly (September 1992) for an initial verification: one already hinted at the final result, the other proposed tauter lines.

Two painted, more envolved plastic models followed, and one of these was extremely close to the final result. It already gave a glimpse of what the sides, the volumes and the recessed rear window would look like.

There is a resemblance to the 504 Coupé, another coupé created by Pininfarina for Peugeot. It is evident in the side dihedron, in the line of the wings which repeat it, and the recessed, straight rear window with a laterally inclined upright, that emphasises the third bow of the car. These and other details are a visual impression that hark back to Peugeot coupés of the past, and foster a natural sense of brand identity.

1969 Peugeot 504 Coupé

The importance that Peugeot attributes to its return to the coupé was underlined by the fact that this model, although originating from the 406 family, was conceived and designed as a completely new car.

Pininfarina’s global responsibility in the subsequent construction of the vehicle and the intrinsic difficulties of an extremely ambitious styling, technical and qualitative project, required an extra effort in the search for technical and manufacturing solutions to reflect the absolute priority of the quality. From 1993 the development phase of the Coupé brought Industrie Pininfarina and Peugeot into close, open cooperation and team spirit was high. During construction and testing of the prototypes and the industrialisation phase, numerous problems posed by the complex shape and content of the car, were tackled and solved, sometimes with results that exceeded objectives.

Starting May 2003 the 406 Coupé was available in a new version that, while still remaining true to its original proportions and balanced styling, introduces a number of new design features. Pininfarina has created a newly styled front-end to give it a pleasantly aggressive look, reinforced by the larger lower air intakes.

At either side of the air intakes, new, smaller, round, lenticular fog lights. Decorative features on the facia have a matt metallic finish, with the Pininfarina logo in bright black letters.

2005 Peugeot 1007

The instruments have this type of finish too, with a black border running around the instrument panel and air vents. Interior features were even more elegant, from the black central console to leather trim on the side panels of the seats. In June 2003 Pininfarina celebrated the 100 thousandth unit of the Peugeot 406 Coupé to come off the production line at its San Giorgio Canavese (Turin) plant. Peugeot 1007, world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show 2004, demonstrates the continuity of the collaboration between Peugeot and Pininfarina: starting from the original sliding side doors concept designed by the Department of Automobiles Peugeot, Pininfarina has designed this innovative MPV launched in 2005.

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Tribute to Marcello Gandini with the Prototype Unveiled at the 1972 Geneva Motor Show: A Unique Model Exuding Elegance and Personality

From May 24 to 26, the BMW Group Classic and the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este will host the legendary Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The most spectacular cars from different eras and around the world will compete in various categories to win prestigious awards. Among these are the coveted BMW Group Trophy awarded by the Jury, the traditional Coppa d’Oro based on public votes, the Design Award for concept cars and prototypes, and the special ASI Trophy for the best-preserved post-war vehicle.

The presence of the Automotoclub Storico Italiano (ASI) at this unmissable international event is highlighted by the display of the Citroën GS Camargue prototype from the ASI Bertone Collection. This car enriches the theme dedicated to Marcello Gandini – the recently deceased master of car design – set up in the park of Villa Erba on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26. Also at Villa Erba, as part of the “Amici & Automobili” event, the ASI-affiliated Veteran Car Club of Como will accompany the Camargue with a precious selection of historical cars from its members.

The Citroën Camargue was first presented at the Bertone stand at the 1972 Geneva Motor Show, where it was met with great enthusiasm from both the public and the press. Built on the innovative Citroën GS platform, which was launched in 1970, the Bertone coupé, styled by Marcello Gandini with the assistance of Marc Deschamps, retains the compact sedan’s layout and dimensions. The car features distinctive front and rear overhangs – the front being much more pronounced to enhance the car’s dynamic look. Lower and wider than the GS, the Camargue boasts a wedge-shaped front typical of Gandini’s style, contrasting with a truncated rear end supporting a broad, panoramic canopy with amber-tinted glass, paired with a chic metallic champagne-colored body. Despite its striking and original design, the Bertone proposal did not reach commercial production due to Citroën’s economic crisis during those years, which led to its merger with Peugeot in 1974.

The format of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este includes a double location in Cernobbio, on the shores of Lake Como. On Saturday, May 25, the exclusive Hotel Villa d’Este’s park will host the display of all competing cars, the jury inspection, voting, parade, and the awarding of the Coppa d’Oro and special prizes. Simultaneously, Villa Erba will host the “Amici & Automobili” meeting with an exhibition of historical cars from clubs and enthusiasts.

On Sunday, May 26, the event will continue at Villa Erba with a festival celebrating automotive passion: all cars in the competition will be displayed in the park until the concluding parade, where the Design Award, class prizes, and honorable mentions will be awarded.